Game changer…… Game......changer.....
This phrase ‘Game Changer’ calls the advocate, the educator, the leader, the innovator to arms. It instills fear in the complacent, the exhausted, the traditionalist, the inflexible, the resistant.
Now let me be honest here. I want to be a Game Changer. It sounds heroic and who doesn’t want to be a hero? But, I enter with three questions - What is the game? Why does it need to be changed? And am I truly a game changer?
What is the game?
The ‘game’ we are referring to is this system we call education.
A game has a starting point and end point. Education runs from Preschool to Post-Grad.
A game needs someone to play it. Education has administrators, teachers, parents and students.
A game has rules. Education is not short of these. Think syllabus, policy, curriculum, outcomes, assessments and marking guidelines, reports … etc.
A game has challenges that need to be overcome. Education is filled with them.
A game has an outcome that must be achieved. Education’s outcome is give students knowledge, instil in them a love of learning and bestow on them the tools to become life long learners.
A game generally has a winner and a loser.
And here I will stop, because I believe there should not be winners and losers in education.
Education should not be a game.
Isn’t a game.
Should never be treated like a game.
Why does it need to be changed?
There are probably many reasons, but there is one that answers this question beyond all others.
There are losers.
There are kids that don’t make it. Don’t make it through school. Don’t make it to class. Don’t make it to living out joyful lives.
There are kids that are told they are will never succeed because they don’t follow the rules.
There are kids who don’t have the skills to pass one form of testing. Are labelled stupid, yet have knowledge of the word beyond their years.
There are kids who feel so much pressure to succeed, but they crash and burn at the last hurdle because they no longer have the mental capacity to give any more of themselves.
There are the kids that are isolated for looking different, sounding different, thinking different. Kids who can barely make it out of bed in the morning let alone drag themselves to class.
And there are teachers who have lost their passion, their joy, their own personal love of learning.
Yes, there are losers….. and as long as there are losers we need change.
Am I truly a game changer?
No. Because I don’t play games. I refuse to make education a game.
In my classroom there are no losers.
Not on my watch.
Not on my time.
Not in the microcosm in which I teach.
I am not a game changer, but I am a joy-fuled educator. An advocator. A leader. An innovator.
And I will make change. Change the way we view education. Shift it from a game to a passion; to a joy that burns deep in the heart of administrators, teachers, parents and students.
Let's say I want to be an 'Attitude Changer'. Are you with me?